Apr 16, 2020
Heroes on the front line:
Around the world, health care providers are on the front line of the battle against the coronavirus.
Many are struggling not only to treat a disease with no known treatment, one to which no human has natural immunity. They are also facing an unprecedented global shortage of the masks, gowns and gloves known as personal protective equipment, due to international manufacturing shortfalls in the face of the pandemic. That equipment is essential to preventing health care workers from getting infected themselves and from passing the virus to patients and to their own family members.
Doctors and nurses and physician assistants and other health care workers sign up to work long hours, nights and weeks, away from their families. But never in our lifetime have they been asked to put their own health and their loved ones’ health at such risk.
At Coverage, we are giving Massachusetts doctors, nurses, PAs and NPs a chance to speak to you, our readers, in their own words. We asked that they share their simplest, most urgent messages as they fight this new virus with no vaccine and no cure, a virus vulnerable only to our common human bravery, ingenuity and compassion.
Firefighters face fires, police officers face crime, we face disease and illness. Each day, we come in to work to care for patients who are scared of an illness that they, and we as a community, do not yet fully understand. We, as health care providers, must stay calm in the face of that uncertainty, using what information we have to help guide care and maintain a sense of comfort and security for our patients. Many of our patients are not allowed to have family or friends visit them due to the COVID-19 spread. This makes it all the more crucial for us as emergency department nurses to maintain a sense of compassion and calmness to better support our patients and each other.
- Sean Sullivan, ER Nurse Manager
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Milton Emergency Department